March 24, 2020 Enjoy the Outdoors, Responsibly
Planning a roadtrip to make the best of the lockdown? Not so fast. A group of British outdoor organizations advocate enjoying the benefits of the outdoors responsibly with 5 tips.
As more and more countries go into lockdown as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many are trying to make the best of a bad situation by getting out into nature. In and of itself, this is an excellent way to practice social distancing, relieve stress, and stay active. But there’s one important caveat, and a group of British outdoor organizations want to spread the word: recreate locally!
The It’s Great Out There coalition and 34 other British outdoor organizations have issued the following statement that explains how to exercise proper caution outdoors in order to limit the spread of the virus:
“In this time of national crisis, when almost all forms of indoor entertainment and social gatherings are severely restricted, a balance can be struck… [W]e must preserve the health of the vulnerable and restrict the spread of COVID-19, while doing all that we can to maintain the mental, social and physical health of the nation. We endorse this approach and encourage the public to strictly follow social distancing guidance while exercising outside, close to home.
“A nation in lockdown could lead to enhanced anxiety, depression, social unrest, mental and physical ill health, and social poverty. In contrast, carefully managed local exercise, inside or outside, will provide welcome active release for individuals and families feeling trapped. Getting into the outdoors sensibly very close to our own homes now, will make it easier for all of us to sustain other official guidelines and preserve the health of the vulnerable in the longer term.
“Fully respecting the need for the ill and vulnerable to remain self-isolated, for those healthy individuals and families with no symptoms, getting active outside remains one of the very few tools left to fight the social impact of this disease.
“We 35 national outdoor organisations advocate the following:
- Enjoy active outdoor recreation in your local area, while practicing good social distancing at all times
- Do not travel to popular tourist areas and reduce the risk of groups gathering in one place
- Stay close to home – consider low risk, familiar activities in local areas, such as a local walk or run.
- Avoid public transport and social gatherings – keep active by travelling on foot or bike
- Outdoor play and learning opportunities that reflect government guidelines are available to children, including those of key workers attending school.
“To the extent areas of the outdoors remain open, if you can get outside close to home while taking sensible precautions, then please do so. Now, possibly more than ever, staying active is vital to everyone’s physical and mental wellbeing.”